Recent events in the world and our country have been a source of discouragement for me. Our nation feels divided as fingers point everywhere in blame. There is a chill in the air, not because the leaves are falling from the trees and the seasons are turning, but because hate seems stronger and louder than ever before.
I know that the best cure for hatred is love and kindness, and so I soldier on in my little corner of the world, trying to make things better one smile and act of kindness at a time, but I am weary of shouting voices and angry hearts.
I am more than tired. I am weary.
I long for simpler days when my mother’s smile and warm kitchen could keep a harsh world at bay.
In the midst of the tumult and noise there is voice that whispers empathy and understanding about what it’s like to be tired. Come unto me. I know you’ve been working hard, and I see the droop in your shoulders under the burdens you carry. Come, rest. Let me walk beside you, and help you carry that load. It is not a glamorous life here with me, but it is calm, and you will find peace. Come. (see Matthew 11:28-30.)
There is comfort in those words, yes, at the knowledge that Someone has been through this and more and knows what it’s like to be stretched so tight that snapping is the next logical action. And in that comfort comes the understanding that just as He is a refuge from life’s storms for me, so must I be for other people.
Do my actions and gestures offer a refuge for those around me? Does the light I hold help light the way to Him?
Just as we cry to the Savior with outstretched arms, “there are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with oustretched hands, cry out, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?'” (Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” October 2009.)
Be a Light
Today my prayer is simple. “Lord, let me be a light to someone, that someone else’s burden may be lighter.” It may seem overwhelming in today’s world to think that an individual can have any lasting impact for another person. We do not need to change the world, but as we live up to our covenants to “bear one another’s burdens, mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (see Mosiah 18:8-9), the light we bear will, indeed, make others’ burdens lighter.
For ideas on what you can do to help, visit our Service Opportunities page. Or read this beautiful talk by President Monson. Still stumped? Smile at someone while making eye contact. It really does make a difference!